We need to be very careful about inquiring of the Lord. While this was a common practice in the Old Testament, it was also a problem for some. When you try inquiring of the Lord in the New Testament, you’re looking for an inside track to gain supernatural knowledge or wisdom. There’s a lot that can go wrong with this.
The Dangers of Inquiring of the Lord
Your counselors could have a lying spirit – 1 Ki 22:5-6, 17-22. Ahab’s prophets assured him that he would win at Ramothgilead. Jehoshaphat wasn’t sure. Jehoshaphat knew something was wrong, but Ahab didn’t believe him. And he didn’t believe the preaching of Micaiah, either.
Ahab rejected the truth and he rejected the caution of a more spiritual man. When you do this, that’s a sure sign something is wrong. How many Christians have been deceived by a lying spirit in men that leads them contrary to the truth of God’s words.
You could be blinded by a personal motive – 1 Sam 14:37. When Saul was considering whether to continue the attack on the Philistines through the night, he inquired of the Lord. Yet, the Lord didn’t answer him. Saul believed that the cause of God’s silence was Jonathan’s disobedience of Saul’s foolish command, 1 Sam 14:38-45. Saul already knew that Jonathan had been absent when he gave the command to abstain from eating, 1 Sam 14:17.
Yet, Saul’s real motive for casting lots to select Jonathan was envy. He was envious of the victory God wrought after Jonathan and his armor bearer defeated some of the garrison, 1 Sam 14:13-15.
The true reason that God didn’t answer Saul’s inquiry is that God had already rejected Saul for his disobedience at Gilgal, 1 Sam 13:13-14. When you inquire of the Lord, it’s hard to see the fault in yourself, if you don’t get an answer, or you don’t get the answer you’re looking for.
The Lord may not answer you – 1 Sam 28:6-7. The Lord wasn’t going to answer Saul. Yet, Saul was not content to accept God’s silence. He was going to get an answer no matter what.
And so, he went to a woman with a familiar spirit, who brought up Samuel. He said, “Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the Lord is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy”?
You might do the same thing, if God doesn’t answer you. You’ll press God or someone else for the answer. I know at least two people, this year, who demanded an answer from God when he had been silent. The direction they’re going now appears to be self-destructive, just like Saul.
The wisdom you find may be from the devil – Jas 3:13-17. When you try to inquire of the Lord, you can easily get devilish wisdom, instead. It’s easy to do because the devil’s wisdom is sensual. It feels right to you. You get a sense that you have attained a super spiritual ability to discern God’s wisdom and will.
The result of this wisdom is going to be envy, strife, confusion, and evil work. Some of the stuff you think God is leading you to do is not going to make sense. And strife, confusion, and even evil work will result between you and other Bible believing Christians.
Conclusion to Inquiring of the Lord
As Christians, inquiring of the Lord like the priests did in the Old Testament is dangerous. Instead, God orders our steps in his word, Ps 119:133, and leads us by his Holy Spirit, Rom 8:14. You need to pray, and you just need to follow God’s lead and his words. These will keep you out of trouble.